Willoughby Environmental Education Area

     I had the grandest of plans for hiking today. Get up early & head into the backcountry for a 5 mile hike to an alpine lake that is supposedly one of supreme beauty. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this hike all week, knowing that the recent snowfall would not be of any danger, but would make the going slow for Bosco & I.
     So we took off this morning, but things didn’t exactly go as planned. As we wound higher and higher along the forest service road the snow became deeper than I had anticipated. We got w/in about 2 miles of the trailhead parking lot & had to turn around. It wasn’t a completely wasted trip as this was my view along most of my drive up the mountain side.

     Not wanting to waste a decent day for hiking, I pulled out my hiking book & turned to the next hike in it. We drove across the valley to the Sapphire Mountains & set our sights on the Willoughby Environmental Education Area. This 40-acre reserve has a trail that passes through 3 distinct habitats: dry sagebrush on a plateau, timbered slopes, & a riparian valley bottom.

     On thing I did not expect was the beautiful view of the Bitterroot Mountains across the valley as the sun was starting to set.

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